Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How low can they go?

Limbo lower now.
Limbo lower now.
This is how low...
Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan filed a lawsuit today against Liberal MP Denis Coderre, alleging the former sports minister falsely accused him of making a slur against francophones during an NHL game.
Doan also demanded that Coderre make a public retraction in the motion filed in Quebec superior court.
Coderre had asked Hockey Canada in a letter on Dec. 22 to expel Doan from Canada’s Olympic hockey team unless he apologized for reportedly uttering an ethnic slur to referee Stephane Auger at the end of a Dec. 13 game between the Coyotes and the Montreal Canadiens.
Copies of the letter were released to the media.
Doan denied making the remark and an investigation by the NHL found no evidence that he used an ethnic slur.
Coderre, the federal MP for the Montreal riding of Bourassa, said during a news conference today that he would not apologize and vowed to fight the lawsuit “right up to the end.”
He said he asked the NHL for a copy of the referees’ report on the incident and was turned down. He said he would have the report and the referees’ account of the incident made public in court if necessary.
But Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive vice-president and league discipliarian, said Coderre won’t see it.
“Our game reports are not for public dissemination and particularly not for politicians who may be using this whole disjointed affair to seemingly garner votes,” Campbell told The Canadian Press.
The motion said Doan was seeking reparations for damages to his reputation over “false and defamatory” remarks made by Coderre, both in his letter to Hockey Canada and to the media.
The player asked for $200,000 in moral damages and $50,000 in punitive damages. The motion said Doan, who is earning $3 million US this season, would donate any money he is awarded to charity.
In an affidavit attached to the motion, Doan said he “did not make any comment that could be construed as derogatory toward French-speaking people during the hockey game.
“Such remarks are completely incompatible with the values I espouse as both a hockey player and a proud Canadian.”
Doan, from Halkirk, Alta., was given a misconduct penalty by Auger for verbal abuse of the officials at the end of the game won by Montreal at the Bell Centre. Both referees and both linesmen for the game were francophones.
“Something happened,” Coderre said at a news conference. "There’s no doubt in my mind that on Dec. 13, something happened, so why can’t we see that report?”
Coderre repeated the alleged ethnic slur in his letter to Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, a copy of which was sent to Canadian Olympic Committee president Mike Chambers.
In his letter, Coderre said that Doan “has not only insulted our country’s francophones, but the vast majority of Canadians.”
Chambers concluded there was no evidence Doan made the remark and said he was told it may have been made by another player on the ice.
Doan made a formal request to Coderre on Dec. 23 that he retract his statements within 10 days.

Coderre is desperate for votes, for sure, eh?
Shane Doan is the captain of the Phoenix Coyotes.
He works for Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky wouldn't put up with that crap for a minute.
And Colin Campbell's observation (emphasis mine) was brilliant.
“Our game reports are not for public dissemination and particularly not for politicians who may be using this whole disjointed affair to seemingly garner votes.”
Give Coderre a negative score on his IQ test.
In this campaign, that might be a high grade for the Liberals, though.